African Cultures

Academic year
Subject Area
Portuguese Language Culture
Language of Instruction
Mode of Delivery
ECTS Credits
1st Cycle Studies

Recommended Prerequisites


Teaching Methods

In addition to the lecture classes, with multimedia support, this discipline focuses on a variety of interactive formats for working in pairs or groups, and guided debates. Oral presentations by students are part of this interactive teaching method and provide for a discussion phase. It is mandatory to read literary works at home before the respective classes.

Learning Outcomes

- To acquire general knowledge about the African continent, with special emphasis on the sub-Saharan region: geography, history, languages, religions, social life, philosophy, arts

- To know examples of canonical works of African literature, beyond the African literatures written in Portuguese

- To develop critical thinking around the different cultural aspects addressed, based on both the theoretical concepts of post-colonial studies and African philosophy, as well as a historical awareness of the legacy of colonialism and of the new problems of post-independence.

Work Placement(s)



The syllabus of this course focuses mainly on the period after the Berlin Conference, and more specifically in the sub-Saharan region. The starting point are relevant aspects of different countries and cultures, not limited to Portuguese-speaking African countries. Geography, history, languages, religions, social life, philosophy, political thought, and African art will be addressed in a supranational perspective, together with the approach of concrete cases. This course also focuses on specific artistic works both within the scope of African literature or literature about Africa (e.g. Joseph Conrad, Chinua Achebe, Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie), cinema (e.g. Osmane Sembène, Licínio Azevedo, Flora Gomes), music, fine arts and photography (e.g. Malangatana, Zanele Muholi, Keyezua). It is up to the professor to select the material to be addressed in each academic year.

Head Lecturer(s)

Doris Wieser

Assessment Methods

Final Assessment
Exam: 100.0%

Periodic Assessment
Frequency: 50.0%
Project: 50.0%



Bongmba, E. K. (2012). The Wiley-Blackwell Companion to African Religions. London: Wiley-Blackwell.

Coetzee, P. H. & Roux, A. P. J. (2003). The African Philosophy Reader. (2nd ed.). LoRoutledge.

Davidson, B. (1991). Africa in History: Themes and Outlines. Collier Books / Maxwell Macmillan International.

García, F. & Mata, I. (2016). Pós-colonial e pós-colonialismo: propriedades e apropriações de sentido. LiDialogarts.

Lopes, C. (2020). África em transformação. Desenvolvimento económico na era da dúvida. LiTinta-da-China.

Mazrui, A. A. & Wondji, C. (orgs) (2010). História geral da África VIII: África desde 1935. UNESCO.

Mbembe, Achille (2019). Sair Da Grande Noite. Ensaio sobre a África descolonizada. LisEditora Vozes.

Ngoenha, S. E. (1992). Por uma dimensão moçambicana da consciência histórica. LiEdições Salesianas.

Oyěwùmí, O. (org) (2005). African Gender Studies: A Reader. LoPalgrave Macmillan.

Sow, A. I. et al (1979). Introduction to African Culture: General Aspects. UNESCO.